Friday, July 29, 2016

The Superiority Of Jesus' Miracles

"No other man has ever remotely approximated the abundance of faith cures worked by Christ. No faith-healer, shrine, or medical experiment has ever even begun to cure many entire towns or many large groups of all kinds of disease….The lavishness of the cures of Christ points to the hand of God….Even two thousand years after the events, the signs of Christ retain to us living today indicative force approached by no other non-Christian prodigies. The words of Christ still apply: 'If you are not willing to believe me, believe the works' (Jn 10:38)….still, after nineteen centuries, the light from his works makes that of all others seem as darkness. His works shine as a beacon guiding all men to look again at his words, the first and last source of peace." (Robert Smith, Comparative Miracles [St. Louis, Missouri: B. Herder Book Co., 1965], 176-8)

Later miracle workers were inferior to Christ, but there were ongoing Christian miracles. In the patristic era, for example:

"Ramsey MacMullen reviews testimonies of people [in the earliest centuries of Christianity] believing because they had seen miraculous events…He gives many instances of Christian persuasion through exorcism, healing, and other strange deeds with reference to figures such as Gregory the Wonderworker…MacMullen also gives instances of conversion in paganism through wondrous deeds…MacMullen remarks that the church grew in historically significant numbers through demonstrations of miraculous power….He [Celsus] charges (1.6 [59,8-10 Koet.]) that 'Christians are powerful because of the names and invocations of certain demons.'" (John Cook, The Interpretation Of The New Testament In Greco-Roman Paganism [Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002], n. 78 on 34, 39)

For more about topics like the preeminence of Jesus' miracles, the evidence for the miracles of Christianity, and their superiority over non-Christian ones, see here and here. On prophecy fulfillment in particular, see here. And here on Jesus' resurrection.

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